Jan 21 2020
Best of 2019 #56: Marta Sanchez Quintet – “El Rayo de Luz”
Choppy waves jostle the boat and they crash loudly upon the shore and move at brisk speeds that defy the tranquility of a serene lake, and, yet, if those waves were composed by Marta Sánchez, that lake would still elicit a powerfully hypnotic effect. The pianist has a talent for setting melodies free in a turbulent environment, and yet attaining a flow like the sweetest song. Her 2015 release Partenika was proof of that talent in the strongest sense, perhaps captured most vividly in the staying power of the melodies, and how some had an almost timeless quality to them, even as they were framed by compositions that were clearly made from the stuff of the present day. Her 2019 release El Rayo de Luz continues in that vein, but diverges where Sánchez focuses more of her attention on the nuance of those waves, and how tiny permutations effected at just the right moment make the biggest splash.
Your album personnel: Marta Sánchez (piano), Roman Filiu (alto sax), Chris Cheek (tenor sax), Rick Rosato (bass), and Daniel Dor (drums).
Released on the Fresh Sound New Talent label.
Music from New York City.
I wrote about this album for The Bandcamp Daily.
Cool album cover artwork by Alicia Martin Lopez.
Jan 21 2020
Best of 2019 #55: Paulo Gomes – “MAP + Chris Cheek”
Paulo Gomes’ Guerra e Paz was one of the very best things to come out in 2017. How it unleashed immaculate melodies and let them wander freely off to the horizon created the sense of an epic journey while keeping the listener immersed simultaneously in the present microcosm of melodic expression. It was also a nifty example of how the cadence of the new jazz era has altered dramatically from the swing and bop days, while its reliance on a well-crafted melody as a base foundation is as relevant today as it was when John Coltrane was creating mad vortexes of sound circling around the gorgeous melody to “My Favorite Things.” On his 2019 release, Gomes adds saxophonist Chris Cheek to the mix. The fourth installment from his MAP ensemble, Paulo Gomes documents the music performed from two separate concerts: One at the Rivoli Theater and the other at the Coimbra Conservatory of Music. It goes a long way to showing that the electricity generated by the ensemble in the studio carries seamlessly to a live setting, and that the addition of new personnel just amplifies the charge of the music to even greater heights. There is no way any of this striking music should be falling under the radar. It is just too damn good.
Your album personnel: Paulo Gomes (piano), Miguel Moreira (guitar), Miguel Ângelo (double bass), Acácio Salero (drums), and Chris Cheek (saxophones).
The album is Self-Produced.
Music from Porto, Portugal.
Listen | Read more | Available at: Bandcamp
By davesumner • Recap: Best of 2019 • 0 • Tags: Best Jazz of 2019, Chris Cheek, Paulo Gomes, Porto (Portugal), Self-Produced